When it comes to suiting up, the less obvious details can sometimes be forgotten about. But if you’re looking to refresh your usual suiting setup for spring, the details are exactly what you need to pay attention to.
The detail today is socks. Socks are now more important than ever since men are wearing their pants shorter — referred to as “no break,” where the pant does not fold or break near the ankle over your shoe.
So for spring your frumpy gray or navy socks just aren’t going to cut it anymore. Instead, you should use this as an opportunity to show off your more colorful side.
Take the newly minted and youthful Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau. He’s already made waves with his take on the traditional world leader dress code of all suits all the time. He’s worn socks with blue, green, and red florals, stripes, a remixed pattern of the red and white Canadian flag, and even a pair embroidered with the logo of the Montreal Canadiens hockey team.
Traditionally, the sock rule is that their color should be as close to your pants as possible, so it essentially looks like an extension of your pant. But it’s safe to say that if the leader of Canada can get away with breaking this rule, you can too. It gives off a more creative and interesting vibe than the old stodgy suit you’ve been wearing all fall and winter, which is perfect for a season that symbolizes new beginnings.
Before you go crazy though, here are a few words of warning. There’s a large gulf between boring and garish: You can’t just throw on a wacky pair of socks and expect them to blend with any outfit. A style move like this requires a certain eye, as pointed out by Real Men Real Style.
Here are some colorful-sock rules to bear in mind:
- Start slow and keep it simple and classic. Argyle, stripes, and solids are safe yet interesting places to start; paisley and polka dots move you up the ladder, and after that it won’t be long until you’re wearing dinosaur print socks, which are fine — if you know what you’re doing.
- Coordinate with the rest of your outfit. The level of your formality and the wackiness of your socks should be inversely proportional. Think about the colors you’re wearing and stick with a general theme. For example, you wouldn’t wear neon green socks with a black suit, but you could wear them with a navy suit.
- Be aware of contrast and balance. If bright socks are the contrast for the lower portion of your outfit, you may need some contrast (think a checked shirt or a pocket square) on your upper half.
- Confidence. Bright socks make a statement. Wearing them with confidence is key to being able to pull off the look.
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